首页 >> 推荐阅读 >> 正文

译:Growing prospects

来源: 时间:2011-7-15 9:59:00 点击:

Success at an experimental farm in eastern China strengthens the case for investing in organic agriculture as a basis for building food security, writes Jiang Gaoming.


 

My team of botanists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences has completed test plantings of organic wheat at the Hongyi Organic Farm in the eastern province of Shandong, with exciting results: for every mu of land(around 667 square metres), the farm harvested 480.5 kilograms of wheat. In 2010, the test field produced 547.9 kilograms of corn per mu.That means the plot can produce a total annual harvest of more than one tonne of grain.

Shandong has been gripped by severe drought this year. Where fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides were used, even the best harvests yielded only 250 to 300 kilograms of grain; the worst, a couple of sacks. Some farmers have been left staring at their sparsely growing wheat and wondering if they should just give up.

Some years ago, I proposed that China make efforts to develop its organic farming, or eco-farming sector, but was told that people would starve as a result. Agricultural experts have continued to spread that idea, and many academics and officials have accepted it unquestioningly. As a result, ecologists have shied away from eco-farming, while biotech experts continue to rave that genetically modified crops are the only possible solution to China’s food security issues.

In 2007, my research team started experimenting in a field in Jiangjiazhuang, in Shandong’s Pingyi county. This was the worst land in the village, leased to us for only 110 yuan (US$17) per mu – a plot of the same size on good land near the village would have cost 300 yuan (US$46). The ground was rocky, and the soil only 20-centimetres deep. Thirty years ago, the community had used this piece of land as a threshing ground, since not much could be grown on it.

It was this kind of land on which our team of scientists started trialling organic methods, strictly avoiding the use of man-made fertiliser, pesticide, herbicide, additives (manure from pig and chicken farms are polluted with additives), agricultural membrane and GM technology. Five years later, production has clearly increased. Even the locals find it hard to believe this organic miracle. Zhou Jinglin, secretary of the local Communist Party branch, told a reporter from Shandong’s television network about the changes in detail. And, having seen the trial for themselves, nearby farmers have become more enthusiastic about eco-farming.

The methods used by the Chinese Academy of Sciences experts included: taking straw normally burnt off by farmers and processing it into fodder for cows, saving 1,500 yuan to 2,000 yuan (US$232 to US$309) per head of cattle; using some of the cow manure to make methane, to be used as an energy source, and the rest as quality organic fertiliser for the fields; and tackling pests with “physical and biological” methods – for example, insect light traps were used all year round, and chickens were kept in the field and fed on the insects. Weeds were hoed up and used as organic fodder for geese, fish and locust farming; and appropriate levels of irrigation used to maintain soil moisture. These methods allowed ecological restoration of unproductive land that had been polluted with fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide and allowed production levels to increase.   

In future, it should be simple to make eco-farming profitable – and the method for achieving this is straightforward: simply double the price of truly organic grains to over four yuan (US$0.6) per kilogram. Then the farmers will follow the scientists, and profits from farming will increase from about 1,000 yuan (US$155) per mu today to about 3,000 yuan (US$464) per mu.

If the government passed that increase in price directly on to farmers, China’s food security would be assured without polluting the environment. For an investment of only one trillion yuan (US$154.6 billion), China’s government could prevent farmers abandoning their farms and reduce imports of genetically modified foods. That is only one third of the spending earmarked for pollution and environmental management during the 12th Five-Year Plan period. In highly polluted areas, agricultural nonpoint source pollution (such as agricultural runoff) accounts for 70% of total pollution – much more than emissions from industry. Widespread eco-farming would help to put an end to this kind of contamination, as well as greatly reducing the sector’s greenhouse-gas emissions (it is more energy efficient than conventional agriculture).        

Agricultural experts will pay any price to obtain higher theoretical yields – with large quantities of fertiliser, pesticide and herbicide, they can achieve wheat harvests as high as 700 kilograms per mu in trials. But these kinds of yields are restricted to scientific experiments and, since they make no profit, mean nothing to farmers who simply want to increase their income.

Eco-farming is essential for the future survival and progress of humanity – without it, harmonious urban-rural development is impossible. The United States is blazing a trail in this regard: it has energetically developed eco-farming as a way of boosting health and protecting the environment. Between 1992 and 2008, the number of US government-certified organic farms increased more than threefold, from 3,857 to 12,941.

And, although initial investment in an organic farm is higher than for a conventional farm, the benefits are clear – the average turnover of an organic farm in the United States is US$217,000 (1.4 million yuan) compared to just US$135,000 (873,000 yuan) for all farms. In 2007, US organic farms with sales of US$1 million or above provided the vast majority (73% according to a report by researchers at the University of California) of the country’s total organic produce. While more and more US consumers are eating organically produced food, in China today, less than 0.01% of the population has access to the same: there is a bright future for this market.

Raising food production through the use of organic fertiliser would allow low-yield fields to become medium-yield, and medium-yield fields to become high-yield, while high-yield fields would consistently be able to produce more than one-tonne of grain. Stabilising high-yield fields at this level would mean 600 million mu of good quality agricultural land could produce 600 million tonnes of grain – more than China’s current total production of 500 million tonnes. China has wide areas of land where two crops can be grown in a single year (so-called “double cropping”): all of Henan, Shandong and Jiangsu, in east China, parts of Hebei and Shanxi in the north, as well as Shaanxi further west and the provinces in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, all have the necessary warmth and rain.

Unfortunately, China’s government and scientists are currently placing their hopes for future food security in increasing the yield of a single harvest – planting so-called “super crops”, such as “super rice”, “super wheat” and “super corn”. But in reality, grain-harvested areas are shrinking and farmers are leaving the land due to their losses. If this trend cannot be reversed, then better strains of crops will be of no use.

Currently, the Chinese government’s investment in eco-farming and organic research is, when compared to the 24-billion yuan (US$3.7 billion) budget for developing genetically modified crops, virtually zero. Agricultural resources are rising in price, grain imports are increasing and funds intended to benefit farmers often do not reach them. Moreover, there is a gap between agricultural research and actual yields, and farmers are less and less inclined to plant grain crops.

It is time the Chinese government took another look at organic agriculture. By employing effective methods, boosting farmers’ enthusiasm for grain crops, nurturing the land at the same time as using it and assuring agricultural businesses can make a profit, the Chinese people can bring China’s food supply under their own control.

(译文如有出入请联系本会,来源于chinadialogue)

译   文:

生态农业可保障粮食安全

  中国科学院植物研究所的专家在山东的生态农场实现了吨粮田,蒋高明认为这意味着有机农业能解决中国粮食安全问题。


  最近,中国科学院植物所的专家对位于山东平邑县弘毅生态农场院子里的有机小麦田进行了实际测产,结果令人振奋:每亩实际获得产量961斤。2010年,该实验田有机玉米产量为547.9公斤/亩。这样,试验田周年粮食产量为1028.4公斤,即1.0284吨,实现了吨粮田。

  今年中国山东一带普遍大旱,农场外用化肥、农药、除草剂的小麦产量,好点的才打五六百斤,差的只打一麻袋半。有些农民面对地里稀稀拉拉的小麦,有放弃收获的念头。

  几年前,笔者建议国家发展生态农业或有机农业,但听到这样的反对意见:“搞生态农业中国会饿死人的”。这样的论调一直被农业专家所渲染,甚至一些院士和领导人也深信不疑。就是在这样的声音淹没之下,生态学家再也不敢提生态农业,生物技术专家才发出了解决中国粮食安全问题“转基因是唯一可取技术”的狂言。

  2007年,笔者带领自己的科研团队,从平邑县蒋家庄承包耕地进行科学实验。该土地是村里最差的低产田,当时承包费只有110元/亩,而靠近村庄的好地承包费300元/亩。土层厚度只有薄薄的20多厘米,下面就是岩石(当地老百姓称麻骨石)。由于地力差,30年前公社生产队将这片地辟为打麦场,因为地里打不出多少粮食来。

  就是在这样真正的低产田里,科学家们采用生态学的办法,严格不采用化肥、农药、除草剂、添加剂(养殖场里的鸡猪粪被添加剂污染)、农膜、转基因技术。经过5年实验,实现了明显的增产效果。这个生态学奇迹,连周边的老百姓也不敢相信。蒋家庄村党支部书记周京林对来访的山东电视台记者,详细介绍了这片地发生的变化。农民们亲历了科学实验过程,从事有机种植的积极性更高了。

  中科院专家采取的主要做法是:将被农民烧掉的秸秆加工成牛饲料,饲养肉牛可获得每头1500-2000元的净效益;产生的大量牛粪一部分用于产生沼气,提供农户能源,大部分牛粪用来堆肥给农田提供优质有机肥;害虫通过“物理加生物”方法防治,即在农田内整个生长季节用诱虫灯捕获害虫,在林下养鸡,将害虫变成鸡的饲料;杂草通过“人工加生物”方法控制,即实行必要的锄草措施,收获的无农药、除草剂的杂草直接作为鹅、淡水鱼、蝗虫等经济动物饲料,通过合理灌溉保证墒情。通过上述一列措施,将地力严重下降和被化肥农药除草剂严重污染的农田,通过生态修复后,在健康的环境下实限了高产。

  今后,要让有机农业产生效益,做法其实很简单,即将严格意义上的有机粮食价格加倍,即2元多1斤,农民就会跟着科学家干了,土地的效益将由目前的每亩1千元左右变成3千元左右。

  设若中国政府将每斤增加的1元左右直接给农民,则中国粮食安全,完全可在不污染环境、不受制于人的前提下,独立自主地得以保障。中国政府要避免农民弃耕,或播种季节缩短,减少进口转基因粮食的风险,只需要多投入1万亿元人民币(按照中国粮食产量5亿吨计算),只占中国“十二五”污染环境治理费用的三分之一。目前,中国农业面源污染,在严重污染的地区,已高达70%,远远超过了工业排放。有机农业可从源头彻底告别农业面源污染,并大大减少温室气体排放。

  农学家为了提高理论产量,不惜一切成本,使用大量化肥、农药、除草剂,小麦产量虽可达到1400斤/亩。但是,这样的产量仅仅在科学家的试验田里而已。由于种地不赚钱,农民对科学家不计一切成本增产的试验效果视而不见。在农民眼里,增收才是硬道理。

  生态农业是未来人类生存与发展的必然趋势,有机农业才是促进城乡和谐发展的光明大道。美国人为了保护自身身体健康和生态环境,大力发展有机农业。美国国家认证的有机农场数量,从1992年的3857个,迅速发展到2008 年的12941个。

  有机农场尽管前期投入较大,但效益显著,美国有机农场平均效益达 21.7万美元(140万元),而普通农场只有13.5万美元(87.3万元)。2007年,美国销售额100万美元以上的有机农场提供了全美大部分的有机农产品(加州大学的报告显示该数据为73%)。越来越多的美国人选择有机食品,而中国人能够吃得上有机食品的人口比例连万分之一都做不到。可见,未来有机农业市场在中国是非常看好的。

  提高粮食产量,如果通过有机肥养地,将低产田改造成中产田,中产田改造成高产田,高产田变成稳产田,仅高产田稳定在吨粮以上水平,则6亿亩高产田就能够生产出6亿吨粮食,超过目前全国5亿吨的粮食产量。中国具备双季播种的地区分布很广,如河南、山东、江苏全境、河北、山西、陕西部分地区,以及长江中下流域各省,都具备必要的热量与降水条件。遗憾的是,政府和科学家目前走的路子,是寄希望于提高单产,搞什么“超级作物”(超级稻、超级麦、超级玉米),而现实情况是,那些具备良好生产条件的高产田播种面积和播种季节均大大缩水,农民因种地吃亏纷纷弃耕。播种面积和季节如不能有效保证的话,培育再好的品种也是无济于事的。

  目前,中国政府针对有机农业的研发经费,投入相对于240亿元转基因重大专项而言,几乎为零!农资涨价、大量进口粮食、惠农资金被层层截留、科研与生产严重脱节,更严重挫伤了农民种粮积极性。

  生态农业或有机农业是到了该中国政府需要多看一眼的时候了!采取行之有效的办法,提高农民种粮积极性,用地养地,实现“耕者有其利”,则中国粮食供应完全可由中国人自己说了算。

浙江正泰公益基金会 浙ICP备11034570号 2000-2011 THE COMMONWEAL FOUNDATION OF CHINA
浙江省杭州市下城区中山北路598号西子花园柳莺苑11B 热线电话:0571—89710110 89710106 邮编310014 电子邮箱:dtxd@ztgy.org